CHICAGO (WTWO/WAWV) – On Friday Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation requiring health insurance and managed care plans to allow for prostate cancer screenings.

Under House Bill 5318, health insurance and managed care plans are required to provide prostate cancer screenings without imposing a deductible, coinsurance, copayment, or any other cost-sharing requirement. This legislation is effective Jan. 1, 2024.

“Preventative healthcare is the best healthcare of all, and it shouldn’t break the bank to access it,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “My administration is hard at work knocking down the walls that too often separate working families from their healthiest, happiest lives. In Illinois, we’re building the kind of healthcare system that people deserve because we know that healthcare is a right, not a privilege.”

About 1 man in 8 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, with an average diagnosis age of 66. Roughly 6 cases in 10 are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older, although diagnosis is rare in men under 40. In 2022 alone, there have been roughly 268,000 new cases of prostate cancer, with 34,500 deaths from the disease.

Since Governor Pritzker took office, the administration has taken action to expand access to patient-centered, equitable healthcare systems in historically underserved communities. This includes the elimination of the Medicaid backlog and the expansion of telehealth coverage, providing quality healthcare services to vulnerable populations allowing for the initial signs of cancer or other diseases to be identified sooner, regardless of where the patient resides.